Citizens’ Assemblies in Climate Governance: An Analysis of Barriers and Enablers for Change
• 大类 : 环境科学与生态学 - 2区
• 小类 : 环境科学 - 2区
This special issue examines the extent mini-publics can make a valuable contribution to reflexive environmental governance and help societies address the climate emergency. It focuses on the recent new wave of citizens’ assemblies on climate action (climate assemblies) populated through sortition and developed to embody principles and practices of deliberative democracy that are being rolled out across Europe and beyond (KNOCA). With the rapid spread of this approach to public engagement on climate governance, practice has developed well in advance of the research. This special issue will help address that gap by advancing understanding of what changes occur, if any, when citizens’ assemblies are developed for climate governance. This will enable systemic understanding and establish under what conditions climate assemblies can meaningfully contribute to reflexive environmental governance–i.e., governance with capacity for sustained appraisal and change based on collective action in the face of evolving and uncertain conditions (Dryzek and Pickering 2019).
The special issue starts from the premise that more research on climate assemblies, and the barriers and enablers to change in climate governance, is required to move beyond the study of a few cases that has characterised this debate to date. To achieve this there is a need for more conceptual, comparative, and systemic research, and a need to take a broader, more holistic view of what ‘change’ in climate governance via climate assemblies can mean to include changes to climate policy, climate debate, climate awareness, climate salience, climate knowledge, and climate concern, within and outside of the forum.
The special issue brings new insights to the environmental science and policy interface that is the core focus of Environmental Science & Policy. This science-policy interface is often distorted by factors such as party politics, old and new media contexts, political polarization, fragmented public sphere, culture wars, etc (Bruelle 2014; Farrell 2019; Wamsler et al. 2020; Coan et al. 2021). Climate Assemblies seek to disrupt that interface by creating new types of participatory spaces in the public sphere where the science-policy interface is mediated by citizens supported to work through issues via evidence-informed deliberation. Many, therefore, argue that Climate Assemblies enable members of the public to consider scientific evidence on climate change and action, under good conditions and further present an opportunity for the assembly members to combine and interpret this scientific evidence with their own shared values, that can also be generated through the assembly process (Willis et al. 2022). In this special issue we are interested in how Climate Assemblies combine science with public values and whether Climate Assemblies and the science/ value combination that they produce can influence other parts of the political system e.g., public, media, parliament, industry, civil society, and government. In doing so, climate assemblies may have the potential to challenge and reshape governance systems. This collection therefore considers whether bringing citizens to play this role in the science-policy interface helps reconfigure how other actors operate and, in doing so, whether they can mobilise knowledge and values for effective action on environmental crises.